A: Firstly, have your chart made-up using any of the free astrology websites on the net, www.astro.com is the one I use when needed. The houses are usually numbered, going from 1 to 12 going anti-clockwise from the Ascendant, so that part is easy.
Now you need to go back to some basic geometry with a touch of astronomy. The whole wheel of the chart, like any circle, is divided up into 360 degrees, which gives each sign of the zodiac 30 degrees each. The signs are given a one 1/12 part of the zodiac as equal sized compartments around the wheel.
The houses though can start and end at any point of the signs. The Ascendant, being the beginning and the cusp of the First House, is the easiest to find, as the left hand end of the horizon. If it starts at 6 degrees of Pisces for instance it will probably, but not always, end at around 6 degrees of Aries, which is also the cusp or beginning of the Second House.
In most charts where the houses are represented as slices of a pie, it is easy then to see where the houses begin and end, and the degree of the zodiac sign where this happens. Many charts have a little box off to the side that also tells you the cusps of the houses, just to make sure.
As for the transiting positions of the planets, asteroids etc, you will need an ephemeris, an extraordinary book that give you the exact position of every planets etc for every day of the year and often for every half or whole century! You can get either an online one or hard copy.
The position of the planets is written as the exact astronomical position as seen from the earth, in degrees (and the minutes of a degree) of the zodiac sign that each body is travelling through at the time. You will see then that each body is moving anti-clockwise around the chart.
In the above example if you looked now transiting Neptune is at 6 degrees of Pisces, a significant transit telling us that Neptune is crossing the Ascendant and is leaving the Twelfth House and entering the First House.
I hope that this is clear enough for you!?
This is a great skill to have, and especially if you eventually move into the aspects between transiting and natal planets, will give you many hours of exploration of the cycles in your own life. It is actually quite magical to be able to see the flow of the different life cycles over your life, both in the past and into the future!
Good luck and enjoy.