If one is wanting an easily sortable order for the icons on the desktop, then the quickest way would seem to be to open the folder C:\Users\[UserID]\Desktop
in Windows Explorer. (At any rate, that's what it is Win8.1, but it might differ in earlier versions of Windows.)
The icons on the Desktop are .lnk files.
Groups of icons can be located in folders on the desktop, and I have used Fences to do that as well (looks nicer).
However, possibly the simplest control of the alphabetic display order can be by using appropriate link file names. For example giving one's browser link files names like:
- will make the browser icons appear clustered together sequentially in the Quick Launch bar or Desktop. Thus link filenames beginning with "." or "A" will come first, "B" second, and so forth, through to "Z".
If Desktop icons have been shuffled about using drag-and-drop (same as can be done in Quick Launch bar icons), so that they are now in a confusing order/arrangement, they can be quickly reset into alphabetic order (or other WinExplorer column order) and then manually shuffled about afresh into the desired state.
However, it is probably more efficient/effective to avoid manually shuffling things and use the filename method (above) to determine and set the icon groups and order, as, if that becomes disarranged by manual drag-and-drop, then it can always be quickly re-sorted back into the alphabetic sequence you had previously created by your file-naming.
Sorry, done in haste.
Hope that makes sense or is of use.