our small pool. This Pool and Spa Vacuum attaches to a garden hose which produces a vacuum when the water is turned on and draws the debris into a mesh bag. You guide it across the bottom of the pool with a long pole(included). The mesh is small enough to catch objects the size of finely crushed stone gravel(our patio material). It can skim off the top as well, but I use a net from the dollar store to quickly clean off floating debris. Our pool is very small, so this was a simple solution.
I've been using a small pool sanitizer from wallyworld, and change about a third of the water with every use. It stays pretty clean this way. In order to avoid dirty feet in the pool, we added synthetic grass outdoor mats/rugs along the path to the back door. We've had these stored outside for three years, and they are still showing very little wear. They sweep clean and can be hosed down.
We've got a lot of mosquitoes in the summer, so we have a netted enclosure around the pool. This helps keep debris from falling in the pool. If the mosquitoes were not a problem, we'd have purchased a pool cover.