Thanks for writing. If you want to reduce or eliminate the amount of pruning you have to do, select varieties that stay extra dwarf. 'Danica' arborvitae, for example, should only get 2.5 feet or so tall and wide; 'Little Gem' spruce gets about 3.5 feet wide and 1 foot tall.
Other than that, I'm not sure what else I can tell you without being able to see your yard in person.
---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com