Empty, not an icon to be seen. My desktop is as vacant as Windows will allow with only a solitary Recycle Bin sitting empty and unused. Nothing gets kept on the desktop; not a shortcut, rogue text file or gif. My physical desk is as empty as possible so the electronic version reflects reality. It all comes down to organisation.
Basic organisation of anything is not hard, when you name your files properly you can quickly find what you are looking for saving you more time to do fun things like drink tea and eat biscuits. Unfortunately when it is easier to make a mess most people will resort to a lackadaisical system of bad labeling and filing. Which is why most people’s desktops are a mess of badly named files.