Now's also the time to make sure your soil is properly balanced and ready for new plants. Once the beds are all cleaned out, it's time to till the ground. This will help aerate and loosen up soil that has compacted over the winter, which will encourage the soil to absorb nutrients better. It will also make it easier to plant.
You should also test your soil to see if it has the right pH. If not, you'll want to add your amendments now. Wood ash will give you more acidity, and lime will yield more alkalinity. You'll also want to get some compost or manure to sift in while you're tilling to strengthen the soil even more.
Spring plants need some food while they're growing, so you can also use slow-release fertilizer. And if you're the type of gardener who doesn't really have patience for weeds, you may also want to add a weed cover layer. A layer of newspaper with some mulch on top of will suffocate the weeds and keep them from growing.