Yeah, my daughter is constantly "rearranging" my desktop for me and when she moves my top panel to one of the sides (I have a widescreen monitor) all my icons are shoved together and there's NO space to move the panel back again. Serious PITA: I used to have to delete icons until I found space.
What I did was enable the "hide" buttons on the panel. Even though I never use them to hide the panel, it's handy to have that space to drag it around. It will be nice to have this harder to do by accident (although my daughter is doing it on purpose :-))