Minimalism is an aesthetic, but it's also a mindset. And, no, you don't have to prescribe to the aesthetic to live in the mindset.
I find one of the things that turn people off about minimalism is the aesthetic. A lot of people assume they have to have white walls, white furniture, and empty, barren, cold spaces.
If that's your style, then rock it! If that's not your style, then do what you feel. If you love color, put color everywhere! If you love a warm, rustic feeling, go for it!
It's about so much more than a design, it's about how you purchase and value your belongings.
1. Do you need it?
I don't mean want it... I mean need it. It's not that there's anything wrong with wanting something, but when you're purchasing something you should consider how it's going to work into your life.
Is this something that you're going to be using every week? Is this something that you're going to be using every day?
Will it go with everything you already own? What purpose does it serve, and does it serve more than one?
If you can answer yes to most of those questions then it's probably an item you want to consider adding to your possessions.
2. Do you have anything else that can do the job?
Before you agree to purchasing the item, you should see if anything else can fit the bill.
You should really avoid buying products that only have one function, like a pizza scissors, a banana slicer, butter spreader, or a lot of those novelty kitchen gadgets.
If you were considering buying a pizza scissors... you could just use your regular kitchen shears. There's already something that can work in your kitchen.
If you really want a pair of pink shoes to go with a pink paisley dress you own, but your nude shoes work fine, and you wouldn't wear the pink shoes that often, then maybe you don't need the pink shoes.
3. Quality, Quality, Quality:
If you find an item that you really like, an item that will really add value to your life, and it's an item that you'll be able to use over and over again in multiple ways, then you should buy it!
But, don't skimp on the quality. Make sure that you're buying the best product you can.
Whenever you're very, very picky about the products that you're bringing into your life, you'll automatically be purchasing less.
Since you're buying fewer items, you can afford to buy better quality. Look for products that are well made. Look at the materials that are used. Are they meant to last? Who made the product? Does the company offer a warranty?
My last tip is to wait. You should wait 30 days before making up your mind about any purchase. You'd be surprised how many things you truly don't need or even want after you wait.
How many things have you wanted and decided not to buy? Then how many of those things have you wished that you bought a few months later?
Probably not many. I can only think of two things off the top of my head.
So, take a deep breath. Put it back on the shelf, and wait.