I have read and adopted as my own a variety of solutions presented on TFP by other members. So, I'd like to share a couple of my own ideas in hopes that they may help someone else.
First one, I have an over the side skimmer for my Intex Ultra Frame pool. Hope to upgrade to a thru the wall skimmer as soon as the water gets a bit warmer than frigid! In the mean time, my skimmer basket has a bail for pulling it out of the skimmer for cleaning. The bail always falls into the water and below all the bugs, leaves, wasps, flies and any other critter that decided to go for a dip. I harvested the hook pictured below from a bottle of scrubbing bubbles shower cleaner. The round end hooks over the bracket screws that hold the skimmer onto the frame of the pool. The square end is perfect for getting a hold of the bail on the basket so I don't have to reach into the gunk that collects in the skimmer.
Second and I think the best idea of the two, is using an extension cord reel for winding up the backwash hose instead of just piling the hose up and it getting all tangled. I wish I had taken a before picture! I purchased the reel at a home improvement store and my husband cut and whittled the retaining hook (for holding the extension cord in place) off of the center of the spool. I then just wrapped the free end of the hose around the center a couple of times so it would “grip” itself and then I wound up the rest of the hose in a matter of minutes! I left the other end attached to the filter. Now when I backwash or purge water, it will be so simple to wind and unwind the hose!
Oh, and one last tip. When I placed the step stones for the equipment pad, I leveled the ground and then lay down a piece of the pink insulation that I used under the pool and put the step stones on top of that. No weeds grow between the step stones. YAY!
I hope that these ideas may help someone.