I got rid of my old 24' pool by running an ad on Craigslist that read 'If you can haul it, you can have it" Using the cover pump (or a couple) to drain it gradually will prevent flooding your yard or other areas you don't want overwhelmed with water.
I also got rid of a 1200 lb upright piano with the same ad.
Should have mentioned the responsibility of breaking down the pool was the hauler's - not mine.
snowtop, I got rid of the pool after running the ad only 2 days. I created a dedicated email address (I never use my own) and made clear to responders that breaking down the pool would be their responsibility. It took 2 weeks to get rid of the piano and some persistence - I had to 'bump' the ad several times to get it back to the top of the page.
I've advertised yard sales, 'virtual' yard sales and give-aways on Craigslist for over 10 years and have never had a problem. To weed out spam, the email subject line is specific: 'free pool', 'free piano', '$50 sofa'. For me, it's really been no different than posting signs for my yard sale around the neighborhood or advertising in the local newspaper and the same precautions apply: cash only, no one goes in the house - everything gets moved out to the yard or garage and I make sure I always have plenty of 'help'. You'll also find certain items (like the piano) only attract dealers - no haggling over your cash-only policy. Good luck to you with your pool!
Snowtop, I've found that like yard sales, sales on Craigslist are season-specific. (The pool was easy to get rid of in July.) You might also want to try calling a scrap-metal yard to find out if they will want it.
When posting items for sale or advertising a yard sale, including pics of your 'big-ticket' items (along with dimensions when appropriate) will boost responses/attendance. I hang onto the 'good stuff' for spring and fall sales because around here even with ads, summer sales often flop.
I always seem to have 'stuff' too. I'm constantly working to reclaim space - between my own home 'makeovers' leaving behind various useless what-nots and furniture and my girls, one by one moving out and leaving tons of junk behind. And as I got rid of it, they were moving around and hauling stuff BACK for 'storage'. The past few years I've begun digging out again. I always give them the opportunity go through and find what they want to keep (meaning, what I have to keep for them) and what they want to take. The rest is 'mine' and so is the dough! LOL!!
As to the sunken garden, looking at my pool (over 13,000 gallons) I'm thinking I would snip the pool sides on a sloping angle (to gently meet the ground) to create an 'entrance' (how wide?) for easy access to the garden to work it. I'd have to pop the decking to remove the liner (and then put it back on?). I'd paint the inside wall a neutral color, then plant in a half-moon pattern, creating paths and leaving the foreground for 'landscaping' - mulch/ pebbles, seating, birdhouses on various stakes or stands, pots. Install trellises and climbers/vines along the inside walls and an arch to define the entrance. Fasten pots of various trailing vines and plants along the top of the decking to help hide the outside walls...? I'm thinking I'd need at least 30 - 40 yards of loam AND mulch to fill the bottom of the pool. My biggest issue would be the deck, it opens to the pool and overlaps by a few inches. It's cut to the curve of the pool. I'd have to install a rail that doesn't look too out of place and try to incorporate it into the garden. A beautiful idea but I'm afraid too impractical and expensive for me.
My liner was damaged this fall and the water has just about completely drained from the pool. So my decision this spring will be to replace the liner and keep the pool (expensive!) or get rid of it (Craigslist!) - my kids are all gone now too, and the only one who uses it is me. Let us know how you make out...
Sos - with your condition so susceptible to the weather, I imagine it can get very miserable for you. Whenever I have to leave the comfort of home in extreme weather, hot or cold, I repeat my SIL's mantra: "Car to bar, bar to car". (Actually, it's "Cah ta bah, bah ta cah"! LOL!)
I'm really undecided what to do. My daughters want me to keep it (repair - ugh - $$)... The one was here once to enjoy the pool this past summer, the other - not at all. But when I mention getting rid of it, you'd think I'd suggested drowning their puppies... I guess I need the sun, longer days and some time grubbing around in the gardens to get clear and some seriously lacking ambition. Wishing you more pleasant days...