Overwhelmed by overgrown backyard

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I have a shaded backyard that up until last year was completely wooded. We had a few trees hit by lightening so we had them cut down and the guys thinned it out a lot. Before the trees were cut you could barely see the fence. It's still too much shade for much grass so now weeds and brush have filled in where trees once were and it's an eyesore. I have no idea what to do with it. The shade, the slope and my 2 large dogs makes my yard a good challenge for a landscaper but that's probably not something we can do for at least 1-2 years. So my questions are:
1) What can we do in the meantime to at least make it pleasant to sit out on the patio?
2) How much should one spend on pro landscaping in comparison to the value of the home? I view home improvements as something for my personal enjoyment and not as an investment. However I wouldn't want to waste too much money on inappropriate landscaping for the area?
3) I want to get some quotes now so I can have a goal to save for this project. I have no idea if I should be looking at $2000 or $20,000. But I don't want to waste anyone's time since I can't start soon. When is a good time to contact companies for estimates?
q overwhelmed by overgrown backyard, gardening, landscape
q overwhelmed by overgrown backyard, gardening, landscape
q overwhelmed by overgrown backyard, gardening, landscape
q overwhelmed by overgrown backyard, gardening, landscape
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