"Fork goes on the left because they both have four letters in them," my mother used to say to me, "put the blade of the knife facing the plate, the spoon to the right."
"Napkins go on top of the plate, usually." and I would do as instructed, placing a paper napkin on top of each of of the five plates at home, putting out five sets of mismatched missionary barrel acquired flatware that my parents used until we three were gone to college.
It was this way I learned to set the most basic of dinner tables - the one for every day use by your family...
...and these are the things I recall whenever I set my own small table.