If you like a really clean desktop you can easily remove all the icons from the desktop, except the Recycle Bin. It is a bit trickier to remove. Assuming you have full admin rights to you XP machine, here is how.
- Click Start then Run
- Type GPEDIT.MSC and press enter
- Expand the Administrative Templates branch under User configuration
- Select Desktop
- Double click “Remove Recycle Bin icon on the desktop”
- Select enabled
- Click OK
- Close the Group Policy window
To replace the Recycle bin, simply follow these step again, but choose disabled instead of enable.
NOTE : In a corporate environent this may not work and the group policies may either be locked down or get over writtern by domain policies.