Spring cleaning is a time for renewal, clearing out the cobwebs and cleaning out the closets — and the garage. It’s also a time to come together as a community to help better our neighborhoods.

A number of spring clean up days have been scheduled across the county for the next month, starting Saturday with a Kiwanis Club-organized Ohio Avenue Extension cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon. Ohio Avenue Extension in the city of Ashtabula has long been a sore spot with city officials as a place treated like a dumping ground where tires, trash, furniture and other debris is continually discarded. As Kiwanis Club member Kevin Grippi said, the clean-up effort is long overdue.

“The area has been overlooked for many years because it is out of the way,” he said. “Now we intend to mobilize students and community volunteers to do what needs to be done.”

On May 19, the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association is hosting its annual “Take it to the Curb” clean up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will meet in front of Ultimate Appearance Hair Salon on Main Avenue. In the past, the event has included clean up at both parks, including weeding the flower beds, plus cleaning the sidewalks and picking up trash.

Conneaut City Council member Angel McVoy is working with the Conneaut Local Youth Organization on a Conneaut Creek clean up at 8:30 a.m. May 4. A separate Conneaut cleanup day will start 9:30 a.m. May 11 at Marcy’s Funeral Home.

These efforts pull people together and can build a sense of community. When people not only work together but do so on a project meant to increase pride in their hometown, it can lead to strong bonds and momentum that can be used to keep neighborhoods looking their best.

But, clean up efforts on an individual-level are important as well. Many communities throughout the county will offer special clean up days where they will accept special items at no cost. What each community will pick up varies, but it can often include appliances and furniture and almost always prohibits items like batteries and paint. There is also an upcoming tire amnesty event May 11 at the county fairgrounds in Jefferson. A maximum of 10 tires (no rims) will be accepted — the first four free of charge and then $1 per tire.

We urge everyone with junk in their houses, garages or yards to take advantage of these clean up days as it would be an expensive proposition if a resident were to dispose of this trash on their own. These small individual efforts might not seem like much, but if we all do our part to help brighten our neighborhoods it will go a long way.

Here’s a list of upcoming cleanup days:

• April 27, 9 a.m. to noon, Ohio Avenue Extension road cleanup

• April 29, Geneva-On-The-Lake cleanup day, place items at the curb by 5 a.m.

• May 4, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Ashtabula Township cleanup, Township Garage, 2718 N. Ridge Road E.

• May 4, 8:30 a.m., Conneaut Creek cleanup

• May 5, 8 a.m. to noon, Monroe Township cleanup, Monroe Township Garage, 5578 S. Monroe Center Road

• May 11, 8 a.m. to noon, Sheffield Township cleanup, Sheffield Township Garage, 3630 Sheffield-Monroe Road, Kingsville

• May 11, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Ashtabula Township cleanup, Township Garage, 2718 N. Ridge Road E.

• May 11, 9:30 a.m., Conneaut cleanup, starting at Marcy Funeral Home, 208 Liberty St.

• May 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tire Amnesty Day, at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds in Jefferson

• May 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Clifford Kadon President Park in Ashtabula

• May 18, 8 a.m. to noon, Plymouth Township cleanup, Plymouth Township Fire Hall, 1001 Plymouth Road

• May 19, noon to 3 p.m., Take it to the Curb, meet at noon in front of Ultimate Appearance Hair Salon, 4702 Main Ave.