This is a question that I am often asked as people host their first more formal dinner party. It is actually quite simple and practical.
Everything goes in the order that it would be used.
Start by placing the dinner plate at the center of that guest’s place setting. Place the salad plate on top (this could also be a charger underneath the dinner plate, either way). Next place the napkin to the left of the plate (the napkin could also be placed on top of the plates) with the dinner fork closest to the plate, then the salad or appetizer fork on the outside. On the right, the knife goes closest to the plate and the spoon on the outside. Water and wine glasses go above the knife with the wine glass closest to the guests right hand (just think, you want them to drink more wine so you put the glass in a more easily accessible place).
The bread and butter plate and butter knife go either above the forks or to the left of the forks. As for dessert cutlery, the easiest way to remember is that the pieces would slide down into the correct position for usage by the correct hand. Meaning, the bottom of the dessert fork is on the left and the bottom of the dessert spoon is on the right.
For a more elaborate table setting from the Emily Post Institute,