You'll probably not have much luck finding such as a list, as it's actually of very little value. Kanji are mostly used in compounds or as part of a kanji-kana tail combinations, which alter their most basic meanings. While it is good to know the core meaning of Kanji, a list of the manner that you are requesting won't do you much good when are actually reading real-world examples.
You should just get yourself a really good dictionary...that's my suggestion.
Heisig's Remembering the Kanji makes it easy for you to associate each character with a core English meaning, although primarily a fantastic mnemonic system is the focus of the book. Some people would argue this is a weakness, but after learning to easily write and recognise 2042 characters over the course of about 7 months, I'd disagree with any criticism to the death.
However, as a means of looking up words or something other than learning the characters, a list of English meanings is, as said above, pretty useless.
You seem to be asking how a paper kanji dictionary is indexed.
They are usually ordered by radical and stroke count.
This is one reason why the ability to count strokes is important
A radical is a particular type of sub component that makes up a kanji. There are 214 radicals, many (most?) of them characters in their own right. A number of them are written in several ways.
for instance radical 86 火 hi also appears as 灬 rekka and hihen (the right hand side of 灯)
so the kanji 照 in 照明[しょうめい] is indexed under 火 and has 4 strokes(the radical) plus 9strokes (the rest). This should be enough to find it in a dictionary.
(Although if you don't realise that 火 is the radical you might mistakenly try to search under 日. recognising radicals is another skill in using a dictionary)
Some dictionaries also have on and kun indexes to allow you to find a kanji you know the reading for (beware the many homonyms )
Although it isn't ordered by radical and has its own quirky system The Kodansha Kanji Learners Dictionary is worth a look.
Also for how kanji work Lets Learn Kanji by Mitamura & Mitamura is interesting.
Personally I find computer based searches quicker and more useful. Either stand alone solutions like JEDict or online solutions like http://www.jisho.org/ And there are also solutions that allow kanji handwriting recognition such as a NintendoDS kanji dictionary, or iPhone/iPodTouch Chinese Character recognition (for fingerpainters), or the later models of Wordtanks
(PS In lists of kanji they are usually ordered by Onyomi in あいうえお order.)
only one question then left to me: how would you find a kanji that is written somewhere and you dont know? they aren't sorted in any way that i understand.
If you can afford it (they can get quite pricey), get yourself an electronic dictionary that has touch a touch screen for jotting down kanji. Usually stroke order doesn't matter and they're quite good at guessing if you don't write it down perfectly.