Here is a recent discussion that might help:When to aerate summer grass
(because aerating the soil and adding organic amendments is going to be a couple of important early steps);
I know I recently saw another question about adding wood chips directly to the soil, but I can't find it now. If you can aerate and add rock powders (lava sand and greensand) and mix in a good quality compost (go pick up those composted wood chips you described), you'll get a quicker and more lasting result than fresh wood chips alone.
Take a look at the Organic Guides
and see all of the options as far as good bed preparation.